So almost one year ago in January 2011, my then-boyfriend and now fiance and I decided to lose weight together. He showed an interest first and I quickly jumped on board. We had both become comfortable and had been eating unhealthy foods and gained weight since we had been together. We were motivated, we were a team. We held each other accountable.
He never had a specific goal, he just wanted to be smaller. He was 6'2" and 225lbs when he started and within 4 months or so he was about 197lbs, where he was comfortable and at that point he stopped actively trying to lose weight, but was maintaining fairly well.
I have lost 36 lbs since then and I'm still working on it day in and day out--I would like to lose another 15 lbs. In September of this year, we went on a long vacation together. Lots of eating out. I noticed on vacation that everything he ate was fried and huge portions--but I didn't say anything. We were on vacation, right? Well it seems like since then, he's completely fallen off the wagon. He doesn't weigh himself, he eats out twice a day at restaurants and eats tremendous portions of fried and very fatty foods.
I have noticed that he'd been gaining a little weight--but I wasn't sure what to say to him. I didn't want to be the "food police". I have asked him if he's still working on eating healthy foods and he said no, not really. That he hadn't been thinking about it.
I'm unsure what to do. I liked being a team in this. He was doing so well and he was really happy about it, but now he's just fallen off. He seems to feel like "he lost the weight, now he can go back to eating whatever he wants". But he's gained 15 lbs back so far, he's 214 lbs. He just likes fatty foods too much and has no concept of portion size. The man can eat enough food for 3 people and still be hungry.
Is there a way I can help him? Get him back on track without hurting feelings? We are already doing C25k together 3 times a week(we are on week 5), but his portion sizes and beer drinking are killing this, I feel. He just wants to eat SO much food. Thoughts for me?
12-06-2011, 12:57 PM
Well that is a hard one.
My husband is 5'10 and 240lbs, a competitive powerlifter. Loves to eat. However, he manages this by lifting massive amounts of weight. If perhaps he chooses to eat, maybe he should consider taking up a sport like powerlifting.
If not, approach him like this - if you are my life partner, then I need your support by demonstrating healthy eating habits. We need to do this together. Since he is your fiance, I assume you wish to marry him (!) and for him to be the father of your children. You want your children to have a healthy father, and most of all, be a good example.
My son is 18 months and literally copies everything his father does. It's scary. And it was a good wakeup call.
Are you the cook? Are you willing to take on that responsibility? This is what I do, because then I know I can control his portions. His sport also regulates his drinking (a beer once a day, no more).
Just a few thoughts from a girl whose life partner loves food & beer too :)
12-06-2011, 01:20 PM
I know how you feel, my boyfriend and I originally started our weight loss together and when he hit goal everything fell apart. He would constantly ask me if I wanted food late at night, he ate crap and lots of it. It was truly annoying. He also gained and seemed unfazed by it.
The advice many people gave me was that I had to do this for me and I could not force him to make the right decisions. Even though I wanted him and I to be a team, he just was not into it anymore and there was nothing I could do. Telling him you disapprove of his eating habits could backfire and he will end up doing more of it just to spite you. Just continue on your journey and maybe in time he will wake up to his crappy eating. Obviously, talking to him about it is also an option, unfortunately when I tried this with my boyfriend it turned into a fight. However, I probably approached it in the wrong way.
Good luck to you and your fiance!
12-06-2011, 01:24 PM
I'm not going to discourage you from trying, just going to warn you that it's very difficult to try to manage your own weight loss and involve yourself in someone else's too. And it's also very difficult and tricky to do "team weight loss" with close friends and family members.
My husband and I can't do it. We've tried, and the input and criticism, no matter how constructive and gently worded, just feels so much harsher and more judgemental coming from someone from whom you expect unconditional love. We also have very different styles of eating though (that are both working for us), so some of my trigger foods are his sanity savers and vice versa. We had to institute a "fend for yourself" rule for meals, because we couldn't cook for each other and both stay on the plan that was working best for each of us. We've learned that for us, the best way to support each other in weight loss and exercise, is to mostly stay out of each other's weight loss and exercise. There are some things we can do together or discuss easily, and the rest we have to agree to disagree.
I'm not saying, "stay out of it," I'm saying "less is more," choose your battles and your comments carefully, and consider finding more outside sources of support for both of you, so that neither of you feels as if you''re letting the other person down or that the other person is letting you down when either of you are struggling.
You might consider joining a group like TOPS or Weight Watchers (and calling or emailing to find out which meetings nearest you have most male members (There are three TOPS groups in my area, and I chose the group with the most male members, so that hopefully at some point, I can persuade my husband to come to. He had a bad experience in the last group and he doesn't want to go, but I'm hoping eventually he may change his mind).
Again, I'm not saying that you should avoid the subject or that you shouldn't try to influence him, but don't let it become heated, and don't let it stop you from focusing mostly on your own work. And don't get stressed thinking you can or have to find a way to "MAKE him understand and do what you want."
12-06-2011, 02:03 PM
I'm in the same boat as you. My boyfriend has gained back 10 of the 30lbs he lost, and while he's unhappy about it, he gets pretty defensive when I suggest he starts going to the gym with me again. He did what I think a lot of people do - they hit goal and think they can go back to what they did before. I did get him to go to the gym with me last night, but he did 50 sits and 10 mins on the elliptical and stopped. And at his weight (~168) that's definitely not going to do anything. Though I'm glad that he went at all. Baby steps, right? Maintaining is supposed to be just as hard as losing weight...if you don't want to work for it you'll gain it all back. So I'd say just try small steps at a time. Invite him to the gym with you. Try to have a talk about how many calories are in beer. There's totally nothing wrong with drinking but one thing I pointed out to my BF was that if he has like 4 of them in one night, that could be a reason he's slowly gaining the weight back. It's like with food - you don't have to stop eating anything, you just shouldn't eat it all at once. Maybe try telling him that? Since you guys started this together hopefully he'll listen and not get too defensive. After all, it's not like you're a stranger who's randomly trying to tell him how to lose weight. :)
12-06-2011, 04:54 PM
If you were fat when you met him, surely you know what it's like to have people tell you that you need to lose weight. How well did it work when you were on the receiving end?
12-06-2011, 06:43 PM
The only thing I do with my boyfriend is lead by example. He eats everything he wants and there's nothing I can do about it. But I just eat what I need and when he encourages me to eat the chips and dip, I have one or two bites, but no more. That's all I want, anyway. But I try to just prove by example. He knows I"m healthier than him and I think it does bother him. But he's the one sitting on the couch, not me. He does know I love him no matter what but I'm not going to force him. I just can't.
12-06-2011, 08:22 PM
This can easily lead to a road of resentment. My boyfriend initially lost 15 pounds after seeing me succeeding in weight loss. He was still overweight but getting close to normal. Now he has gained it all back and a few extra. The thing is he knows it. And if I become the one who's always reminding him to eat healthy, I become a nag, and that never helps anyone.
Like last week we went to dinner and he got fried onions and french fries on top of our shared appetizer of fried mozzerella. His main was a hamburger with cheese. He knows having one of those things wouldn't be so bad, and me telling him how unhealthy that is, is quite frankly stating the obvious. He saw me get grilled chicken and veggies and even commented maybe he should have gotten something lighter.
Like racrane, I hope my good habits will rub off on him. He even talks about all the diabetes running rampant in his family and I try to gently tell him he can do things to lessen his chances and he talks about the horrible choices some family members make in fighting their diabetes. He gets upset because his family jokes about when the baby's coming, but in the end, he has to choose for himself.
I'm a binger but my boyfriend, like yours has no concept of portion control. He loves meat, dislikes vegetables (unless fried of course), and he eats a lot. He used to actually be almost underweight. But as much as we need others' support in weight loss, the final decision is up to that person.
12-06-2011, 08:51 PM
You're his fiance not his mother...if he doesn't want to stay on track with his eating then you can't force him. Go to the store and buy healthy foods, exercise like you normally would, and do your thing. Eventually he's going to realize that he's gaining, but right now he's probably in denial and really enjoying the unhealthy foods he was depriving himself of while he was losing.
If you absolutely can't leave him to make his mistake I would suggest trying to suggest a junk day(we have Fat Friday) where you eat junk one day a week, or maybe look up some lower calorie options that don't taste healthy. Chips that are baked, dip made with greek yogurt instead of sour cream, stuff like that. If you choose to bring it up I would go more for "Honey, it's unhealthy for you to eat that entire cheesecake." Rather than tell him he's going to get fat. Show him you're more concerned about his health than his weight. (: